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New Kayak Spotlight: The Valley Gemini Twins

Posted by on March 13, 2013

The upcoming paddling season will be full of great opportunities for kayak shoppers thanks to dozens of new sea kayak models slated to hit the showroom floor. I took some time over the winter to comb the blogs and buyers guides in an effort to identify the most exciting additions to the fleet.  This journey led me to eight potentials candidates for “Kayak of the Year” that I shared in a two-part mini-series featured on Kayaking.org (Part 1, Part2). However, there’s one pair of kayaks that stand out above the rest: the Valley Gemini Twins…

 

Valley Gemini ST (Sports Tourer)

Valley Gemini-ST

  • Length: 14’10”
  • Width: 22”
  • Weight: 38-40lbs (Diolen), 45lbs (Polyethylene)
  • Capacity: 100-190lbs
  • MSRP: $2949.00

I’m particularly fond of the looks of the Valley Gemini ST (Sports Tourer). This kayak seems like it would be a great choice for the smaller paddler who is interested in near-coastal day trips or a quick overnight. Its dimensions and lines remind me a lot of the Impex Mystic which is one of the nicest of the smaller touring kayaks that I have ever paddled!  The most exciting thing is that the low weight of the Gemini ST rivals that of the Current Design Vision 120 SP (KayakDave.com Kayak of the Year in 2012). I’d imagine that the Gemini would be more seaworthy than the Vision 120SP based on its lines. My only concerns are cockpit fit (particularly a low front deck) and high relative cost, two things that Valley is notorious for. Being a mellow fellow, you can bet that I’ll go to the end of the Earth (or at least all the way to the Kayak Centre in Rhode Island) to court a Gemini ST this spring!

 

Valley Gemini SP (Sports Play)

Valley Gemini-SP

  • Length: 14’10”
  • Width: 22”
  • Weight: 45lbs (Diolen), 45lbs (Polyethylene)
  • Capacity: 100-190lbs
  • MSRP: $3499.00

If you’re a play-the-sea type then check out the other twin: the Valley Gemini SP (Sports Play)! This kayak was designed from “the same DNA” as the Gemini ST but increased rocker, higher bow volume, and harder chines make it better suited for the rough stuff. The lines are reminiscent of the P&H Aries (the composite version of the P&H Delphin) although not as extreme. This makes me believe that the Gemini SP will give the Aries a run for its money in the surf and may out-perform her on the approach paddle. You may also notice that the Gemini SP is a bit heavier than its twin. This is for good reason; the thicker layup was chosen to take the abuse that you’ll encounter in the surf zone and rock gardens! Clearly, if you like it rough then the Gemini SP is the twin for you!

What’s the best part about twins?? Well, when it comes to the Gemini Twins it’s the fact that you now have two exciting new options to choose from this paddling season!

Happy Paddling!

-Kayak Dave

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